There’s no time like Spring to get your whole family on board with healthy living – here’s how.
It’s only natural that as our own health starts improving we look at the health of our loved ones to see how we can help them feel better, too. So many of us have children and grandchildren and wonder how we can incorporate what we’ve learned about holistic health and healing into our family’s daily routines and holiday celebrations. Today, I’ve called in an expert who knows all about raising a healthy family naturally.
No one knows holistic family health like Anne Rhody, PA. She was a biomolecular chemist and nutrition scientist at the University of Wisconsin for 7 years until she went to medical school there to become a Physician Assistant. She has a grand total of 30 years in the medical field, 20 years as an herbalist, 15 years as a craniosacral therapist, and more than 10 years of experience practicing Integrative and Functional Medicine for the whole family.
Anne has 6 beautiful children and 2 granddaughters, including one child who has overcome both Autism and a peanut allergy. Her children are thriving and are often in the spotlight for their academic, arts, and sporting achievements. During a recent phone call she shared with me some of her secrets for keeping them so vibrantly healthy.
From SAD to Real Food Advocate
Anne didn’t start her motherhood journey with any special knowledge about food, except to put a protein, starch and vegetable on everyone’s plate at dinnertime. She felt like she was doing the right thing by feeding her family the Standard American Diet (SAD), using pasta and potato mixes from the box, whatever meat was on sale at the grocery store, and frequently serving every kid’s favorite vegetable – corn. Cereal was the quick and easy favorite for breakfast, and everyone packed sandwiches, chips, soda, and a cookie for lunch.
It wasn’t until their daughter came along that Anne had to pay attention to food. She was a colicky baby who had trouble gaining weight. Anne sought the help of countless specialists who didn’t have solutions for her, so she stepped outside of the mainstream and that’s when she learned about “leaky gut syndrome” and the role that diet was playing in the health of her family.
She immediately eliminated gluten and dairy and saw a dramatic change in her own health as well as her daughter’s. All the aches and pains she had went away, and the severe “seasonal” allergies that she had to take several medications for year-round were gone! Her daughter jumped from the bottom of the growth chart to the top in just a few months, and became a contented, smiling child for the first time. Anne educated everyone she could find on what she had learned about gluten and dairy and started many on their own healing path.
Sometimes You Need More Than Food to Heal
Shortly after her next child was born, her daughter was diagnosed with Autism. Anne was in medical school at that time, but was determined to learn everything she could to heal her daughter naturally. She started her daughter on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and snuck nutritional supplements into her food. Her hard work paid off – just one year later, her daughter went for her kindergarten assessment and was deemed a smart, healthy child. She also no longer had a life-threatening peanut allergy and was able to eat any food without reaction.
Today, Anne has six children that are all healthy and thriving, and they eat a Radical diet, rich in organic vegetables and fruits with grassfed meats and free-range poultry. Her daughter’s good health has continued – she graduated high school with honors last year – in just two years instead of the usual four. She has won several vocal performance medals and academic achievement awards and has had no sign of autism for more than a decade.
Anne’s Top 5 Tips for Raising Healthy Families Naturally
When it comes to diet and supplements, Anne has her Top 5 for Healthy Children:
- Probiotics for Immune Strength. Children are colonized with their mother’s flora as they pass through the birth canal. A child who is born C-section or from a mother with a messy microbiome needs to re-colonize with healthy bacteria for their immune system health. Anne has used probiotics formulated specifically for infants to relieve colic successfully in many babies. She also recommends Flora-Key from UNI KEY Health for any school-aged child or child in day care who is coming in contact with a multitude of germs in their daily life to support their immunity. Flora-Key combined with a dairy-free diet is also her first-line approach for teens troubled with acne.
- Fish Oil for Brain Health. Fatty fish are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids that are crucial for every cell in the body, but especially for brain health. If your child has trouble concentrating or struggles with their moods, then they may be deficient in the essential fatty acids they need for proper brain function. Anne recommends 500 milligrams per every 50 pounds of body weight. So a child who weighs 100 pounds would take 1000 milligrams daily. If they can swallow pills, then Super-EPA from UNI KEY Health is her first choice. If not, then Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil is her next choice. She does not recommend fermented Cod Liver Oil.
- Magnesium for Muscles and Movement. For every molecule of sugar we eat, we use up to 54 molecules of magnesium to break it down, so it’s easy for our children to become deficient when they are given so many sweet treats throughout the day. There are several forms of magnesium, each with its own unique strengths. If your child struggles with constipation, magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate can help. For “growing pains,” muscle aches, or soreness after exercise, glycinate and malate are the best. And for relaxation or trouble sleeping, threonate and malate are known for their calming effects.
- Spring Cleansing. With 5 active children attending 3 different schools and a variety of extracurricular activities, plus raising their own chickens, ducks, and eggs, Anne and her family are all exposed to a variety of bacteria, viruses, and even parasites on a daily basis. In addition to teaching them how to properly wash their hands, Anne is a strong advocate for month-long cleansing every Spring to support their overall health. When her children were under the age of 5, cleansing consisted of using twice daily digestive enzymes and probiotics on an empty stomach. For her elementary school aged kids, she uses UNI KEY Health’s Super-GI Cleanse, and for her teens she sees the best results with UNI KEY Health’s Para-Key.
- Go Nuts – and Seeds. Anne’s kids don’t leave the house in the morning without one of her homemade Un-Granola Bars, packed with nuts and seeds. The essential Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats found in seeds (and nuts) make up more than 25 percent of the building blocks for your cells and feed your mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of your body. Nuts and seeds like pecans, walnuts, pumpkin, chia, flax, black sesame, and sunflower are some of her favorites to use, and they are roasted or soaked before eating to break down the hard-to-digest protective coatings. For children who don’t like to eat nuts and seeds, she recommends sunflower lecithin. It’s rich, nutty flavor is delicious when added to smoothies.
Anne has been one of the most outspoken advocates for my new Radical Metabolism plan – for the whole family:
“I can’t say enough good things about Ann Louise Gittleman’s new Radical Metabolism plan. Yes, it works for weight loss, for even the most stubborn weight. But it’s so much more than that! If you are looking for the best way to get your family’s health back on track with a non-toxic lifestyle that opens your eyes to the daily chemical assault we face even before we leave the house in the morning, then you need to get Radical! I would have LOVED a book like this back when my daughter had Autism, it really teaches you how to become your own health detective – which I had to learn the hard way. From how to make your kitchen less toxic to how to make treats healthy, her plan has it all. It’s an indispensable resource for anyone looking to get their whole family healthy – and stay healthy.”
If you want to hear more from Anne, join us in my Fat Flush Nation and Radical Metabolism Revolution groups on Facebook. She’s also a regular contributor to my Inner Circle.